Samhain quickly approaches and among all the candies and costumes it can be easy to forget the purpose of this day — Honouring our Ancestors.
It is believed that at this time of year the veil between this life and the otherworld is at its thinnest and it is therefore easy to connect with the dead. This can take many forms but if you are looking for ideas that may be more group or family friendly here is a good place to start.
Take a walk
I know I put this in every blog but… WALKING! Take a nature walk and discuss or contemplate the nature sloughing off its colourful garb. The flowers wilt and the trees have begun to drop their leaves. The ground is cold and things are rapidly preparing for winter. Remember that this is a cycle and like the plants and creatures around you, life will return.
Host a feast
Invite family and friends around out of the cold and offer them some comfort with food and drinks. This is a great time to share stories of those who have passed. It can be reflective and morose or jovial. There is no obligation to take any one path and often one will lead to another. Celebrate those who came before us and honour them by keeping their stories and memories alive.
Review and share photos
Bring out the old photo albums and sit with friends and family to talk about “that time when…” it can be a great way to remember our ancestors. You may even become inspired to create a collage or scrapbooking page for your altar.
Create the change you want
This is also a good time of year to let go of things. If you have a bad habit, feeling or activity that you would like to let go of, there is no time like the present. If you want to bring it into ritual or even just make the letting-go seem more tangible you can write it on paper and burn it or you can collect all the items that bring you to that action and discard (or donate) them.
Dance and Sing
Many people find that they feel a greater connection to their spirituality by moving or singing. Dig out some music that helps you connect and embrace what your body needs in that moment. This is extra fun to do with friends but I am a big fan of what I call “Solo Dance Parties”. This can also be a great way to shake off some of the impending winter blues and help you to remember that Death is a part of the cycle. It is just as important as Birth and embracing that is the reason for the season.
How ever you choose to celebrate please do it safely and take care of each other. Give thanks to the beautiful Autumnal world around you in whatever way feels best for you; your family/friends and your Groves. If you are alone, be mindful of your body (and mind’s) needs. If you are in a group, help those around you but never neglect yourself. This can be a trying time of year for some but remembering it is all part of the natural cycle will help to strengthen everyone.